Marion Polk Food Share Launches a Youth Community Garden

Posted on May 31, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Marion-Polk Food Share is food distribution center that partners with nearly 100 direct-service charities.  They work with their network of partners to serve hungry families, children and individuals in Marion and Polk Counties.  Marion Polk Food Share (MPFS) has 6 different programs that work together to end hunger in our region. 

 

MPFS has a vast network of community gardens that offer a variety of goods and services to the community.  Community gardens help prevent families from needing emergency food and provide a much needed source of nutritious produce. MPFS supports a network of 50 gardens in Marion and Polk counties, ranging from school projects to urban farms to demonstration sites to neighborhood gardens.  They recently launched a Youth Farm on a two-acre vegetable farm in the heart of Salem.  The farm provides young adults with agricultural and business education while increasing access to fresh produce in the community. 

 

The MPFS Youth Farm, currently located at the Oregon School for the Deaf, will not only be an educational hub and a training center for the next generation of farmers, but also a local source for fresh, nutritious vegetables!

 

The MPFS Youth Farm will be involved in three specific projects for the 2013 growing season: managing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model providing boxes of vegetables grown on the farm to 20 members for six weeks this summer, selling fresh produce at the Wednesday Farmers Market, and donating produce to the Marion-Polk Food Share. Check them out at the Salem Wednesday Market!

 

Exciting volunteer opportunities abound throughout the MPFS network community gardens! Their greatest need currently is for volunteers to help run afterschool gardening clubs. A basic knowledge of gardening and the passion to get children enthusiastic about fruits and vegetables is all that’s required. Visit HandsOnW.org to sign up.  With so many gardens throughout the region, there is bound to be one conveniently located near you. 

 

Melissa Padron is the program manager for HandsOn Willamette—a program of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. She can be reached at (877) 372-4141, or Melissa.Padron@mwvcaa.org

 

 

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